Special Board of Selectmen, Friday November 8, 2019, 11am, Town Hall Meeting Room
Board of Selectmen, Thursday November 7, 2019 at 7:30pm, Town Hall Meeting Room - notes
Police Commission, WEDNESDAY November 6, 2019 at 7pm, Commission Room at Town Hall - notes
TOWN OF WESTON WEBSITE (find history of all town board/commission meetings, regular and special, listed here including Police Commission** and Board of Education***).
#1 - Board of Selectmen
Woody Bliss, Gayle Weinstein, Nina Daniel and now Chris Spaulding the First Selectmen represented in About Weston website reports. Previously, George Guidera (1987-1999) was First Selectman (we have been following the meetings of the Weston Board of Selectmen - every meeting but one - since mid-1991). If you want to know what happened since November 16, 2001, our reports are online here (see links at the bottom of the page); from 1991 until 2001 we did not have an "About Weston" website (Hal Shupack, 1999-2001, thus not represented online here either).
#2 - Board of Finance regular and special meeting reports, things recommended to review, by About Weston. Finance Board - FY'20. Previous budget cycles: on index page, type into search box "weston budget"
#3 - Planning and Zoning Commission regular and special meeting reports, by About Weston. P&Z Commission posted official minutes.
#4, especially in the summer, The Weston Building Committee. On this page you will find our reports on their meetings that we have attended previously.
#5, added this year, Board of Police Commissioners.
ABOUT TOWN'S RESEARCH PAGE FOR P&Z MATTERS
ABOUT TOWN'S MILLENIAL'S PAGE
Link to our 2020 Vision page.
T H E P L A N : F I R S T , T H E T O W N C E N T E R M A S T E R P L A N
Link to our reports on the OFFICIAL PROCESS.
* = If Special Meetings conflict, our attendance will be prioritized by numbered system above. Our reports on meetings that we do not attend will refer to posted official minutes in these cases.
** = This is new for us... older Police Commission minutes posted on Town of Weston website; our sporadic P.C. notes and related matters here.
*** = Board of Education agenda/minutes link. And of course, we have followed education issues here for many years...)
BUT WE DO KEEP OUR EYE ON HARTFORD...
A new, blue day in 2019-2021 term.
EXTRA RESEARCH SOURCES
LINK to Special Town Meetings through the years,
YouTube link to First Selectman 2018 interview for "About Town"
What is on the public's mind, 2019? topics covered this year...
Watch it in its entirety - direct Speak Up YouTube link here.
THE "WHAT'S UP?" DEPARTMENT:
Are you confused about what is going on in Weston (please, only Weston CT)? Ask us!
Let's face it. Since the original Weston FORUM, owned and run by a Weston resident, was sold to the Acorn Press in the early 1990's, coverage has not been the same.
When the FORUM began in @1967 until 1990, there was a reporter for every major Board and Commission. and a wonderful "feature" writer who could cover hard news in a pinch.
- P&Z was front page news. Every other week.
- Board of Finance was covered by a reporter who had a financial background;
- Board of Ed was covered by individuals who gave their all for getting out that news and every week we had precise recording of what happened.
- "Fuzzy pictures" were endearing but every one got into print!!!
- The Editor/Publisher had the idea for "Speak Up" - latest version report below.
And the revered editor/publisher covered the Board of Selectmen, many thought, directing them from the last row in the Town Hall Meeting Room!!! In fact, when she sold her newspaper to Acorn Press, the 18 yr Town Administrator put in his resignation shortly thereafter.
Reelected, the Board of Selectmen meets Friday Nov. 8, 2019
Video by Weston Today edits a capella young Weston voices singing Star Spangled Banner at Swearing In Ceremony later in the afternoon.
"WESTON LWV STATE OF THE TOWN - BOARD OF SELECTMEN": http://www.aboutweston.com/Government.html#weston
And things didn't get any better for FY'20 Budget Process: https://www.aboutweston.com/fiscal2020weston.html
My question is what are we teaching the children by playing the system? Answer: Protesting authority works.
2018 A.T.B.M.: NO QUORUM PRESENT. CROWD OF 105 HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR (92) BUT STILL SHORT OF THE QUORUM OF 130.
Too bad we didn't have a quorum (there actually were people there - this picture taken to emphasize empty chairs) - I think someone is missing up front???
Best secret in Town...
SPEAK UP XXVIII IS HISTORY...WATCH IT NOW!
That amazing event LWV of Weston runs - every bit of the 90 minutes was worth hearing and seeing!!! Watch last year's event below to compare questions!
"SPEAK UP": When we arrived to set up video cameras the Library was closed...90 minutes later it was standing room only!!! The full Legislative Delegation showed up and was very helpful in fielding budget, taxes and direction issues.
REGIONAL SCHOOL SYSTEM? CT PASSING RETIREMENT OBLIGATIONS FOR TEACHERS TO THE TOWNS?
Town Plan, regionalization, traffic, coyotes, the first 4 questions. Then it started...how the heck do we deal with school budget when the Grand List is shrinking? School system managing on multiple fronts? Can we stay afloat?
There is a technical tipping point between property values and mil rates (i.e. the lower the mil rate and higher the property value)...
Public enemy #1 for cats...
WATCH ON YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZFBvBuG69M&feature=youtu.be
Unofficial list of questions/topics asked at Speak Up 2019" - not necessarily in order.
- Town Plan (when does the public get to get involved) - answer: April 6th "charrette" (May 4th #2 charrette)
- State-wide property tax?
- Coyotes a problem, what are we doing?
- Traffic control...Police Chief answered - q&a above.
- Weston finances...its tax base?
- Weston finances...legislation taking away car tax revenue?
- Regionalizing schools?
- Early voting/absentee voting?
- CT downloading teacher retirement onto towns?
- No complaining on school budget in citizen survey because sample over-weighted? Seniors and empty-nesters undercounted?
- What is happening to the arts in W.P.S.?
- How do we keep the municipal ship afloat if State "shares" its debt with towns?
- News of 2019 Kiwanis Reservoir Run (October) and Dog Jamboree (September), 2019!!! WOOF!!!
- Death panels?
- Legalize marijuana? This is a matter for concern, as our Police Chief commented as he responded to the last question.
SPEAK UP 2018:
WATCH ON YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=d5fct4B9-ek
Unofficial questions ("answers" on the video now available) click above.
- The event began with first question on Town Plan "what's up?"
- Next was "Sustainability: What's up?"
- And then the Board of Finance Chair. asked the Legislators sitting next to him on the stage what we should be looking out for in the upcoming Session, which begins next week.
- Fourth question was from opposed to the dog park regarding traffic safety which the Police Commission will deal with if asked.
- Back to State matters for question five.
- National tax reform entered the discussion as question six.
- Seven was "did you check out the record of the solar farm company?" Which got answers from two folks so we counted it as two questions.
- Number 8 was a searching one about what the Town knew about the company in charge of the virtual net metering arrangement we had just formalized.
- Question 9 was a statement about the value of animals in formal and informal settings.
- Question 10 was engagement with the subject of special needs children in educational settings...
- as was question 11.
- Next must have been related to the procedures to be followed re: Dog Park application (to just be received with no comments on substance of the 8-24). Which prompted more discussion onstage about the 8-24 process and Special Town Meeting necessity if a "positive" 8-24 is given.
- Perhaps there was another question re: Dog Park.
- Back to the Town Plan for #14
- And then a final (#15) question about need for new and/or more C.G.A. legislation against pesticides.
Speak Up 2018 is over.
Let's see how things go this year - during the Budget Process and the various other activities of government as relates to what items were hot at Speak Up...
About Town's version of how Weston CT was saved 21st century-style. The threat to Weston is now Hartford.
- The Weston FORUM originally came into being I think to shine a light on local political machinations - especially regarding which of its vacant land got gobbled up.
- The original FORUM went to every house for free.
- Every major Board and Commission had a reporter to follow it - P&Z was "front page news" then.
- When Acorn Press took over the FORUM* (early 1990's) it began to look like every other local paper...Acorn Press merged with Hersam (New Canaan) outlets...
- Ultimately the "Weston FORUM" in name only - regionalized with Redding and Easton ("Aspetuck News")...which is when...
- "Weston-Today" was born. Weston needed a "hometown" voice** - and that meant having its own newspaper by and for Westonites.
--------------------------* Some might not remember the FORUM front page fight referred to in #1 above: "Access to Town owned parks...for all." However, the most valued commodity in Weston is privacy...
**Legal action might not have been the most efficient tool, or "voice," but starting a rival newspaper @1990 to drive out the FORUM as a hometown newspaper did the trick.
It appears to us that the Town is trying get out news - "HOT NEWS" or tips - via the website...